Battle of Sena Gallica, 82 BC

The battle of Sena Gallica (82 BC) saw Pompey defeat one of the consul Carbo's armies near a small port on the Adriatic, helping to strengthen Sulla's position in the north of Italy (Sulla's Second Civil War).

At the start of the campaigning season of 82 BC Sulla sent Metellus Pius and Pompey to campaign in Cisalpine Gaul, an area that was loyal to the Marian cause. One of the consuls for the year, Gnaeus Papirius Carbo, moved north to campaign against them.

Early in 82 BC Pompey had probably taken part in a battle on the River Aesis, just to the south-east of Sena Gallica, fighting under the command of Metellus Pius. Metellus had then moved north into Cisalpine Gaul, where he had been besieged by Carbo in an unknown location. Further south Carbo's fellow consul the younger Marius suffered a heavy defeat at Sacriportus (82 BC) and was besieged in Praeneste (82 BC). Carbo was forced to abandon the siege of Metellus, and retreated south towards Ariminum (Rimini), with Pompey harassing his retreat.

Carbo continued south towards Rome, but he left at least two forces behind him in the north. One was defeated by Metellus in a battle at an unnamed location. Five cohorts deserted to Metellus during the battle, a recurring theme during this war.

The other was defeated by Pompey at Sena Gallica, a port on the coast just to the north-west of the Aesis, and south-east of Rimini. This suggests that the Marians had continued to withdraw from Cisalpine Gaul. After the battle Pompey's men captured and plundered the town.

The retreat appears to have continued after Sena Gallica, as Pompey next appears at Spoletium (Spoleto), in the Apennines, where he joined with Crassus to defeat Carrinas. Metellus remained in the north, where he defeated an attack on his camp at Faventia.

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (12 October 2017), Battle of Sena Gallica, 82 BC ,

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